Title

Family Occupation: Methodological Challenges and Insights

Start Time

22-10-2011 10:25 AM

End Time

22-10-2011 11:55 AM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Several researchers within occupational science (e.g., DeGrace, 2003; Dunbar, 2006; Evans & Rodger, 2008; Kellegrew, 1998; Larson, 2000; Segal, 2004) have illuminated the importance of investigating family occupation. However, there remains much to appreciate about the complexity of these cooccupations. Drawing on experience studying family occupation, the panelists will share the results of three studies and discuss the challenges of conducting research that focuses on the family rather than the individual. The panelists will share information about various research methodologies, the theoretical underpinnings of doing family-focused research, and findings that afford rich discussion about the study of family occupation.

The first paper focuses on family health. To explore this construct this research used participatory research methodology, specifically phenomenological approach to photovoice, to capture the essence of family health for families raising children with autism and to illuminate their perceptions of their family’s health. Families consented to in-depth interviewing inquiring about family health, life, routines and rituals. Phenomenological, iconographic and descriptive analyses were used. The findings from this study provided an understanding of family perspectives of family health and afforded suggestions for further testing of the F model Family Experiences and Health Following Diagnosis of Autism Model.

The second paper focuses on the occupations and co-occupations of mothering. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the author's previous research, analysis of four focus groups of mothers of typical children, and contrast this to the current study of a mother's narrative. The narrative is in the form of a weekly blog following her son's accident. A description and application of critical antenarratology for content analysis will be provided. The benefits of this method for understanding a mother's perspective of mothering occupations and co-occupations will also be explored.

The third paper focuses on the occupations of families who include adolescents with autism to explore how family occupations shift as children develop. Data for this study was gathered through multiple methods, including participant observation, narrative interviews, and the Family Routines Inventory. Drawing on examples from one family, this paper explores the importance of triangulation of data and the challenge of doing research using the family as the unit of analysis. In addition, the question of what constitutes a family occupation is explored, given multiple perceptions of meaning and function.

Objectives for Discussion:

  1. To further explore the strengths and limitations of methods used to understand family occupation.
  2. To discuss current conceptualizations of the construct of family occupation.
  3. To share ideas about future directions of research on family occupation.

References

Boje, D.M. (2006). From Wilda to Disney: Living stories in family and organization research. In D.J. Clandinin (Ed.), Handbook of Narrative Inquiry: Mapping a method (pp. 330-353). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Boyce, W.T., Jensoen, E.W., James, S.A. & Peacock, J.L. (1983). The Family Routines Inventory: Theoretical origins. Social Science and Medicine, 17(3), 193-200. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0277-9536(83)90116-8

Kellegrew, D. H. (2000). Constructing daily routines: A qualitative examination of mothers with young children with disabilities. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 54(3), 252-259. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.54.3.252

Segal, R. (2004). Family routines and rituals: A context for occupational therapy interventions. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 58(5), 499-508. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.58.5.499

Wang, C. C., & Burris, M.A. (1997). Photovoice: Concept, methodology, and use for participatory needs assessment. Health Education & Behavior, 24(3), 367-387. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/109019819702400309

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Oct 22nd, 10:25 AM Oct 22nd, 11:55 AM

Family Occupation: Methodological Challenges and Insights

Several researchers within occupational science (e.g., DeGrace, 2003; Dunbar, 2006; Evans & Rodger, 2008; Kellegrew, 1998; Larson, 2000; Segal, 2004) have illuminated the importance of investigating family occupation. However, there remains much to appreciate about the complexity of these cooccupations. Drawing on experience studying family occupation, the panelists will share the results of three studies and discuss the challenges of conducting research that focuses on the family rather than the individual. The panelists will share information about various research methodologies, the theoretical underpinnings of doing family-focused research, and findings that afford rich discussion about the study of family occupation.

The first paper focuses on family health. To explore this construct this research used participatory research methodology, specifically phenomenological approach to photovoice, to capture the essence of family health for families raising children with autism and to illuminate their perceptions of their family’s health. Families consented to in-depth interviewing inquiring about family health, life, routines and rituals. Phenomenological, iconographic and descriptive analyses were used. The findings from this study provided an understanding of family perspectives of family health and afforded suggestions for further testing of the F model Family Experiences and Health Following Diagnosis of Autism Model.

The second paper focuses on the occupations and co-occupations of mothering. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the author's previous research, analysis of four focus groups of mothers of typical children, and contrast this to the current study of a mother's narrative. The narrative is in the form of a weekly blog following her son's accident. A description and application of critical antenarratology for content analysis will be provided. The benefits of this method for understanding a mother's perspective of mothering occupations and co-occupations will also be explored.

The third paper focuses on the occupations of families who include adolescents with autism to explore how family occupations shift as children develop. Data for this study was gathered through multiple methods, including participant observation, narrative interviews, and the Family Routines Inventory. Drawing on examples from one family, this paper explores the importance of triangulation of data and the challenge of doing research using the family as the unit of analysis. In addition, the question of what constitutes a family occupation is explored, given multiple perceptions of meaning and function.

Objectives for Discussion:

  1. To further explore the strengths and limitations of methods used to understand family occupation.
  2. To discuss current conceptualizations of the construct of family occupation.
  3. To share ideas about future directions of research on family occupation.